Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Day 168 - Nov. 3, 2010

life guard tower 26 - Ocean Park, Santa Monica CA
trash collected for 20 min.
3.3 pounds collected
672.1 pounds total
From what I could tell - this is a full plastic garbage bag of clothing that was left on the beach next to - not in - the garbage can. Curious.

I want to talk about something that I may not have mentioned before. What do I do with the trash I collect from the beach? This is the most anti-climactic part of my collection. I throw it away. But I know that there is no "away." I know that there is a good chance that it might end up in the ocean anyway if pieces get blown out of garbage trucks, or away from landfills. I know that I can't get rid of the trash, and that the plastics I take from the water's edge will take thousands of years to degrade - if they ever do. And I know that I will find more trash on the same beach the very next time I come out on the sand.

SO: what gives me a little comfort is -
1. I've taken pictures so you can see that the stuff we all use in our daily lives ends up on beautiful beaches, and then into the ocean.
2. I write about what I'm learning, and my thoughts here. Hopefully this is useful to help us all think about how we can change our own daily lives to stimulate the change we need. We are the most powerful place to start.
3. I have taken this trash off the beach and disposed of it somewhere else. This feels good even if it is not the total solution to the problem.
4. I have taken action in whatever imperfect, human way I can. Hopefully, my action sparks others to do the same. And it makes me feel better. In-action leaves me feeling hopeless. We don't need that. We need hope.

This was an empty Smirnoff 2 once bottle.

I'm speechless. Please view.

I'm not "lovin' it" when I find trash from fast food restaurants poised to enter the ocean with one strong breeze.

I was reading my ORION magazine yesterday. This passage caught my eye. It is an excerpt from Bill McKibben's article, "Small Change."

"...the White House has studiously avoided any extended discussion of climate change for the last two years. The occasional speech at some solar panel factory, sure, but even that was usually about "green jobs or the "clean energy future" or some other middle-speak. All of which accomplished nothing, since the Senate decided not to even take a vote on anything climate related.
So: hard facts.
Nineteen nations have set new all-time temperature records this summer.

Federal scientists have just announced that we've come through the warmest six months, twelve months, and decade on record.

A powerful new study in Nature shows that global warming has cut phytoplankton populations by half in the last sixty years.

It's not left, it's not right. It's HOT."